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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - NEW DELHI: An Indian apparel manufacturer who supplied tens of thousands of uniforms a year to the Israeli police is refusing to accept more orders from the force in the wake of Israel’s deadly onslaught on civilians in Gaza.
Maryan Apparel Private Limited in the Kannur district of the southern state of Kerala has been supplying apparel for Israeli police officers since 2015. But this week, it decided to sever ties with the customer.
“Killing the innocent common people is the reason,” Thomas Olickal, the company’s director, told Arab News on Saturday.
The company announced the decision after Al-Ahli Al-Arabi Hospital in central Gaza was bombed, killing hundreds of people, mostly women, children and the elderly. Much of the world has blamed Israel for the bombing, though it has denied responsibility. Among the victims were patients and people sheltering in the courtyard from daily Israeli airstrikes.
“The attack on the hospital and killing of 500 innocent people has really disturbed us,” Olickal said.
“I am not able to see the disturbing pictures of children and ladies crying in pain and with no medicine and food.”
Nearly 4,400 Palestinians are believed to have been killed since Oct. 7, when Tel Aviv began its bombardment of the densely populated enclave following an attack on Israel by the Gaza-based militant group Hamas.
Israel has also cut off power, water, food, fuel and medicine supplies to Gaza, intensifying its blockade of the enclave that is home to 2.3 million people.
Maryan Apparel, which employs 1,500 people, specializes in fire-retardant fabric for workers in petroleum refineries, scrubs for doctors and nurses, and apparel for security forces. Among its customers are firefighters and hospitals in Saudi Arabia, law enforcers in Qatar, and security companies in the US and UK.
It had supplied Israelis with about 100,000 uniforms a year and rejecting further orders is likely to deal a blow to its operations, but Olickal stands by his decision, saying his workers, 90 percent of whom are women, share his views.
“All employees wholeheartedly supported me,” he said.
“We have to take a stand when common people are killed ... Financial difficulties are nothing compared with the suffering of innocent people.”
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